Use Social Research Methods to Enhance Your Operations
A Maintenance Department in a large Metropolitan School District needed to define why they experienced such deep seated labor problems. Leadership Praxis evaluated the business situation of the department, interviewed stakeholders, and surveyed employees. The result of this research defined four specific areas of failed execution that when addressed turned poor performance into a model department. Garfield Medical Center needed help in defining why their patient satisfaction scores were so low. With 25 different languages spoken by their patient care and administrative staff we developed a multi-linguistic team of researchers to interview, conduct focus groups. We identified the significant issues and communication challenges that undermined patient experience enabling Garfield Medical Center to design a solution that aimed at the right target. Bertolini Inc needed help in defining why their sales team had slumped and what they could do about it. We put together a social research project that helped them define the core issues causing failed performance and identified the strategic leverage points they needed to return the team to peak productivity while also increasing the level of communication and tactical planning needed with production, administration, and logistics.
In this like other cases Leadership Praxis was engaged to design a research project that moved each organization past the anecdotal and toward reliable data that defined their challenge.
Commissioning Leadership Praxis to engage in a research project starts with a consultation that outlines the client’s question; is it poor performance, a gap in communication, a gap in process execution, or a perennial breakdown in cross functional collaboration/execution?
In research, Leadership Praxis provides our clients with empirical feedback about what is really happening in their businesses. We often find that our clients struggle with indistinct challenges that as such do not engender specific resolution strategies.
When challenges take on the form of empirical or verifiable data solutions are much easier to generate. New market expansion, operational expansion, strategic human resource management, sales analysis, business process analysis or labor relations management all present an opportunity to move form anecdotal misinformation to quantifiable and reliable data. We employ two approaches to research, qualitative and quantitative depending on the question we are asked to engage.
The qualitative research methods employed by Leadership Praxis defines employee attitudes, perceptions, organizational culture, organizational design efficiencies, and management/leadership skills. Qualitative research methods also employ literature reviews to assess your organization's situation in light of the most recent research. We follow a rigorous methodology that codes the data we discover into consistent themes, conducts axial coding to relate the major themes to each other. We utilize a coding paradigm to include categories related to (1) the phenomenon under study, (2) the conditions related to that phenomenon (context conditions, intervening -structural- conditions or causal conditions), (3) the actions and interactional strategies directed at managing or handling the phenomenon and (4) the consequences of the actions/interactions related to the phenomenon. Qualitative research projects are priced based on scope and complexity.
Leadership Praxis follows generally accepted research practices including:
- A plain language description of the research aims
- High regard and respect for participant dignity and personal privacy
- Clearly defined methodology (including questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and/or field observations by the researcher)
- Confidentiality and security of data gathered
- Voluntary participation that allows participants to withdraw at any time without prejudice
- Statement of risks
- Informed consent
- Contact information for the researcher and a complaint procedure.